Dr Aaron Smith started with the question
"What does it take to make a good school?"
Like most Funky Thinker questions - it is harder than it appears at first glance.
It requires some sit down and talk time - Funky or what?
After a quick trip round the size of aircraft carriers at Norfolk Virginia and Portsmouth (UK), we decided that the worst place in the world to be was on the flight deck of one on 4th July.
The temperature is 110 degrees. (That's 43 Celsius - or very hot) and you are cleaning rust off. Nice
We got to talking about education and things which are required for a good school - that it is very hard to measure and therefore articulate in simple terms.
Like culture, the way things are done. Relationships between school and home and more.
I often wonder if the desert island question still has a place in the world.
Turns out it really has - not for the few minutes we allow it on the show - but for a wider group or team discussion.
How to really detox from social media
Is testing in schools the only success measure?
What does it take to make a good school?
Mobile have changed the world in so many ways.
One is that there is no need for the iconic red telephone box.
Funky Thinking locals have turned this one into a book depository.
Traditional books prevent multitasking, can easily be recycled, virtually never stolen, no recharging, passwords, backups, Russian hackers etc etc
Tim Armacost is a musician.
I asked him off air if he was any good - just google his name...(or better still type his name into YouTube...)
What's it like to be children of US diplomats?
Well you get to go to baseball games as kids on the Japanese underground. (With no parents attached).
The Japanese still have the social contract - even today - that most other western countries have lost.
Tim has conflicting emotions because for the last few weeks - he has had no kids around the house - they have all flown the nest.
Luck vs skill and what is a professional musician anyway?
There is a cliche which says the harder you work - the luckier you get. Attributed to various people. Or is it skill ? Below is Tim's take on it.
How musicians make money in these days of music on tap via YouTube, Spotify etc?
In days gone by, record collections would take months and years to assemble. Incrementally, the fan would send money to the artist every time they bought a single or an LP. Now you can listen to the entire back catalogue of virtually any artist you can name.
The answer is the experience... Instead of just pulling up YouTube on your phone - you gotta go to a live event. Concert, gig, whatever you want to call it.
Who is the person Tim want to be stuck in a lift with?
Turns out it is JOHN Coltrane - video below - rather than Scottish actor ROBBIE Coltrane. You can tell the obvious differences in the two clips below.
Oh the amateurish mistakes we make when not properly prepared...
Makes for a better conversation though?
We also talked about 'bloodlines' for rock groups.
The Beatles/Sex Pistols vs heavy rock KISS - YES etc
In his younger life, Tim was a KISS fan but never painted his face...
What is it like to be a musician and be paid to mine/act/play along to backing music?
Plus - ever been to a wedding and thought the band/music was somehow a bit odd. Here is why...
I do not understand why anyone would subject themselves to this 10-year challenge of posting a picture of yourself 10 years ago on Facebook. Do you look better now than you did then? If Privacy is an issue, why are you helping the folks in AI get better at replicating you and find out how you age?
Why choose to be a rat in a rat trap?
Are you hoping for your 15 minutes of fame? WIn the Lottery?
Why must you follow the herd?
Ordering something on an app is the cool and trendy thing to do.
BUT - delivery times can be hit and miss.
Prices can be more expensive - restaurants and takeaways have to pay money for the privilege of being listed on the app.
Who do you think pays for that?
Get the FUNK out - go down to the take away - at a time of your choice - and talk to someone...
Did you know it is rude to ask a lady how old she is?
That's what I was brought up to believe anyway...
Vivian Acquah is a workplace wellness advocate from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Of course, we didn't talk about that - but a whole heap of other random stuff. It's Funky Thinkers after all.
The most unusual place Vivian has been to is the LA ghetto.
I am not sure there is such a place with the designation of ghetto.
What is it actually like in Germany?
Does the grass grow straight up like it has been combed with a hair comb? And why does Germany have that reputation?
The term screenager cropped up - I hadn't heard it - and it turns out it is a film and a whole heap of other stuff.
Maybe I need to get out of the Funky Thinkers bubble a little more often.
Meditation crops up as per usual but Vivian is the first person to talk about meditation using an app.
Connect with Vivian via LinkedIn.
Too busy to listen to the full episode? Watch the insight below...
Which are the most painful years of your life?
Hi everybody Jon Senior here - question - which are the most painful years of your life?
I would say your middle teens
As small children we are taught to fit in
Stand in line
Wait your turn
Despite what they say - schools often travel at the speed of the slowest pupils.
Standing out often gets you ridicule from your peers.
It's easier for comprehensive schools - with everything else they have to do to create vanilla children.
Children who are
Participation medal winning
It makes the percent charts look better you see.
And when the child gets to their middle teens and maybe apply for a job or University.
All of a sudden they have to stand out.
And all politicians can do is argue about who spends the most on education
Stand up and Get the Funk Out! It will make the rest of your life and theirs more enjoyable!
This was by far one of the most existential conversations we have featured on the show.
Emotional Judo is a real thing - and the dot com is taken. So no point looking.
A map is the ultimate magic trick because if you have a piece of paper in front of you, you will know what is coming round the next corner.
It can't be any map - it must be a specific map - of the place where you are.
And that is the reason to use a consultant or a coach - because they have a map of where you are and what it likely to be round the next corner.
The glass half empty or glass half full thing got a twist. Einstein?
Everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle
I am travelling half way across the world - to a different country - and it is like riding in a bus.
How cool is that?
Or - they don't even have wifi - what suckage...
Captain Cook cropped up.
He was a British explorer and navigator who made the first contact with the east coast of Australia (apart from the people who were already there) and the first circumnavigation of New Zealand.
In three voyages, Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and on a scale not previously achieved.
One of his maps is below.
Captain Cook map of Australia (approx 1770)
Modern map of Australia